It had all started with his shoulders. Shoulders had always been one of Ginny's weaknesses. Along with chocolate brownies and high-heeled boots, shoulders were very important to Ginny. She wasn't exactly sure, but Ginny thought it was likely that this preoccupation with shoulders had started at an early age. She had countless memories of being hoisted up onto her older brothers’ or dad’s shoulders. From up high, she was the lady of the manor, to be taken wherever she commanded, and Ginny did so like to command. Before brooms, sitting on her father’s shoulders had been her favourite and most used form of transport. This childish liking had, however, bloomed into something entirely more menacing.
Until recently, Ginny had viewed this preoccupation with men's shoulders as slightly odd but rather like Hermione's favouring of tall men. Ginny had always watched the men around her and rated them according to the width, strength and general niceness of their shoulders. Most men failed to reach her high standards. This was hardly surprising when it was taken into account that she was using the Weasley men to compare against. Her brothers, particularly Charlie, all had fabulous shoulders and Ginny was not prepared to settle for second best.
Harry was rather lacking in the shoulder department and once Ginny had gotten over her rather childish crush on him, she was surprised at the number of girls, and occasionally boys, who could ignore this large and obvious fault. He may have been the Boy Who Lived, but he was definitely not the boy for Ginny.
It had come to her attention that Quidditch players appeared to have the most worthy shoulders. She supposed this was due to the large number of intensive workouts they did. Part of the reason Ginny chose to join the Quidditch team was because it provided a lovely excuse to goggle at some beautiful shoulders. It was during one eventful Quidditch match against Slytherin that Ginny saw some shoulders that she knew would haunt her until the day she died. They were the most beautiful and exquisite shoulders Ginny had ever seen. Even under Quidditch robes, it was obvious that they were strong and muscular, and she had the sudden urge to rest her head on them. It took several seconds for Ginny to pull her gaze away from them but in those seconds two momentous things happened. Firstly, Slytherin scored and then, far more importantly, the owner of the shoulders turned around and looked straight at Ginny. She snapped her hanging jaw shut and flushed brilliantly as she realised who the shoulders belonged to.
Draco Malfoy was staring straight at her. His grey eyes met hers, and from the expression on his face he knew she had been staring at him. Malfoy smirked at her before wheeling his broom around and heading after the snitch. Damn him. She wanted to wipe that supercilious smirk off his face, preferably with a nasty hex. It wasn't her fault that he had the sexiest shoulders she had ever seen. By rights, his shoulders should have been as underdeveloped as Harry's, as they were both Seekers. Ginny tore her attention away from Malfoy and refocused her mind back onto the game but, as any Weasley man will tell you, what a Weasley woman wants she gets. And Ginny Weasley wanted those shoulders, no matter who they belonged to.
So, with Luna’s help, Ginny came up with a plan. It involved a lot of patience, and more importantly, a lot of flirting.
At first, Ginny was subtle about it. She wore tighter tops, and would let him see her staring at him. Occasionally, she ate chocolate mousse in an absolutely deplorable manner while watching him. Then she watched him adjust his pants and walk out of the room. Sometimes, she would bump into him on the hallways, drop her books and allow him to pick them up for her. Since he was brought up by Narcissa Malfoy, Queen of Manners, he always picked them up, but since he was also brought up by Lucius Malfoy, King of Snide, he always made some smart-arsed comment. Ginny found that she didn’t really mind his sarcastic retorts all that much. If they weren’t directed at her, they could be quite amusing. Ginny, unlike Ron, could appreciate that Draco really did have a good sense of humour.
She started to wonder if maybe it was possible that Malfoy had other good qualities besides just his shoulders. She had to admit that other Slytherins actually seemed to like him so he couldn’t be a complete ponce, could he? He was funny; Ginny had to stop herself from laughing at some of his scathing remarks. He was Hermione’s only real competition which meant he was smart, and probably dedicated and hardworking too. True, he was also incredibly vain and while it appeared that he had matured a lot in the last couple of years, he still tormented Ron. He had somehow managed to stop badgering Harry and Hermione, and it appeared they had come to a truce, perhaps even a very tentative friendship. Ginny really couldn’t blame him for not getting along with Ron. After all, Ginny enjoyed making fun of Ron herself.
So maybe Draco had more good qualities than just his shoulders. Besides the fact that it would annoy the hell out of Ron, dating Draco Malfoy might not be quite so bad after all.
Draco, however, did not seem to be getting Ginny’s hints. Yes, sometimes she caught him staring at her, and occasionally he even smiled at her. But nothing was actually happening. Ginny needed his shoulders, and the rest of him preferably with them. The plan was obviously not working effectively. She had thought Draco would do something far earlier than this. People called him a Sex God, and yet he didn’t seem to be getting the message. Ginny didn’t know what more she could do to get his attention.
Draco was confused. The little Weasley girl was flirting with him, and Draco just couldn’t understand why. It had all started during that Gryffindor versus Slytherin match a couple of weeks ago. He hadn’t even fully realized that Ginny Weasley as an individual person had existed before that game. She had been Ron Weasley’s little sister, a good chaser and occasionally good for arguing with but not really worth his time. Now she was a very pretty girl with some amazing curves and a head of hair that he found he inexplicably wanted to touch. She could also eat chocolate mousse in a way that should only be found in Playwizard magazines. What was he going to do with her?
So Draco did what he always did when he was having women troubles. He went and talked to Blaise Zabini. Blaise was the official guide to women in Slytherin. Due to his own success with the female sex Zabini was only too happy ‘to help others less gifted in the art of wooing a woman’. At least that’s what he was considering putting on the card for his new business idea, ‘A Match made in Heaven’.
Draco found Blaise holding court in the Slytherin common room. Many little first-and second-years were sitting around Blaise listening in adoration as he told them of his many successes, both of a romantic and physical nature. Draco pushed his way through them, ignoring their respectful whispers. Draco, like Blaise, had a certain reputation in Slytherin, and indeed the whole school, for being successful in whatever he attempted. He could only hope that it proved true in regard to the little Weasley girl.
Blaise listened patiently as Draco explained his current predicament. ‘And I just don’t know what to do. On one hand, the fact that it would annoy the hell out of her brother makes me want to consider pursuing her. On the other hand, she is still a Weasley and the entire thing could be a massive joke she and her friends came up with. What do you think?’
‘I’m not sure yet. Genius takes time, mate,’ responded Blaise lazily. He had taken to smoking cigars, and he proceeded to blow smoke rings in Draco’s face. Draco rolled his eyes. He knew Blaise enjoyed his reputation as one cool customer. As Draco knew the importance of believing in one's reputation, he allowed Blaise these small acts of supposed coolness.
‘Whatever, but I need your opinion. I need to know what she thinks of me.’
‘I’ll get on it. I’ve got spies everywhere,’ said Blaise as he drew out the last word in a puff of smoke.
And get on it Blaise did. Blaise may have portrayed a languid and carefree attitude to the world, but in reality Blaise could be very dedicated and quick to act when necessary. He could also be very creative when necessary. According to Ms Pansy Parkinson, he could be very, very creative when necessary. She’d had the orgasm to prove it. Working their way around life’s little problems without appearing to lift a finger was a special trait of the Zabinis. So while Blaise might have been exaggerating slightly when he said he had spies everywhere, he did however know how to get spies anywhere. So Blaise went to speak to the one person who might know exactly how the youngest Weasley felt. He went to Luna Lovegood.
‘So, it’s Luna, right? inquired Blaise as he sat down next to her. Blaise had decided that since Luna was a female he would use his famed charm on her. Luna had been sitting under a tree looking at the lake. She had been happy. And now, this Slytherin had turned up.
‘Yes, that’s right. But I’m afraid that I don’t know your name,’ said Luna politely.
For a second Blaise was flummoxed. She didn’t know who he was. Everyone knew who Blaise Zabini was. Maybe they knew him as a Slytherin jerk, but they still knew him. He couldn’t remember the last time he had had to introduce himself to someone in Hogwarts.
‘I’m Zabini, Blaise Zabini, Blaise finally managed to mutter.
‘Oh, that’s nice, said Luna absent-mindedly. To be honest, Luna couldn’t have cared less who this boy was. He was interrupting her staring at the lake time. Luna did this every weekend. It was a time for thinking and being alone, and she was never ever interrupted. It was Luna-time, and she valued it immensely.
Blaise could feel her indifference towards him. Nobody was indifferent towards him. Mostly they loved him, occasionally they hated him but they were never indifferent. He was suddenly struck by the thought that maybe his charm wouldn’t work on this particularly young lady, but perhaps honesty would. Blaise could be honest. As a proud Slytherin he didn’t do it often, but he did however have the canny ability to know which of his tools worked best in which situation. It seemed honesty was the only tool which would work with Luna Lovegood.
‘Well you see, Luna, I’m friends with Draco Malfoy. You have heard of him, haven’t you?’ Blaise was suddenly unsure. Maybe she hadn’t heard of Draco. What would he do then?
‘Oh, of course. He’s the one Ginny’s in love with.’
Blaise blanched. She had not just said that. She had not just blurted out the information which he had been prepared to carefully coax from her. And love? Who had mentioned anything about love?
Luna turned to Blaise and smiled rather condescendingly. ‘That’s what you came here for. There’s no point beating around the bush now, is there. If you do that an Umgubular Slashkilter may fly out which we wouldn’t want at all. Of course, Ginny doesn’t know she’s in love with him. She just thinks she likes him for his shoulders.’
‘His shoulders?’ said Blaise weakly. What the hell is an Umgubular Slashkilter when it’s at home?, he wondered.
‘Yes, his shoulders. You see, Ginny has a shoulder fetish. And you must admit that Draco does have rather manly shoulders.’
Blaise was confused. He was the King of Anything to do With Women and here he was confused by this pretty girl who was a year younger than him. And Draco had manly shoulders. Where did that come from? Blaise could honestly say that he had never really looked at his friend’s shoulders. What about his own shoulders - were they manly? Blaise looked at his own shoulders in a slightly dejected manner.
‘Oh, don’t worry,’ assured Luna as she noticed his glance. ‘You have lovely shoulders. I’m not quite as picky as Ginny, but yours are quite acceptable. You can tell Draco that she likes him, and that it’s not a joke or anything. But perhaps it would be best to leave out the fact that she’s in love with him. Considering that she doesn’t know she is yet, it might be better all around. Don’t you think?’
Blaise nodded slightly. His shoulders were acceptable, while Draco’s were manly. Something was obviously very wrong with the world.
Blaise sat slumped in the large chairs in the Slytherin common room. Opposite him sat Draco. ‘What the hell is wrong with you, mate?’ said Draco. ‘I know you said you were going after the Loony girl. What did she say to make you like…this? Your mother would have a heart attack if she could see your posture now.’
Blaise sat up slightly straighter because whatever Zabinis were, they were not hunchbacks. ‘The Weasley girl likes you. Apparently, she has a shoulder fetish, and you fit her description of ‘manly shoulders’. Luna told me it all.’
Draco nodded, smirking slightly at this good news. He had manly shoulders. And Ginny Weasley liked him. Life was good. Then he remembered his friend.
‘And…?’ asked Draco.
‘And what?’ replied Blaise.
‘And what has you looking like someone hit you with a Confundus charm? What else did she say?’
‘Nothing, really. It’s more the way she said it. She didn’t know who I was. She knew who you were. Ginny likes you. She thinks my shoulders are acceptable. She gave me all that information in a disinterested tone. She didn’t want me there. And for some inexplicable reason I can’t get her out of my head. No woman has ever got in my head before. Hands, yes. Head, no. I didn’t sleep last night because of her and her bloody Umgubular Slashkilter. I had to go look it up in the library today.’
‘Sorry, I’m lost. What the hell is an Umgubular Slashkilter?’
‘It’s nothing is what it damn well is. According to ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ it’s a mythical creature which has never been verified but is believed by some to inhabit dense forest areas.’
‘I’m still confused,’said Draco.
‘So am I, mate. So am I,’ said Blaise slowly as he slipped lower in his chair.
Draco was happy now. The Weasley girl, wait, if he was to date her, he must begin to call her Ginny or Ginevra. But which to choose? Ginny was much more approachable and friendly than Ginevra which was rather snooty-sounding. Personally he preferred Ginny; he could imagine calling her Ginny. It seemed to suit her. Ginevra, on the other hand, sounded like a name his father would like. And Draco had recently decided that most of his father’s opinions were dead wrong. So Ginny it was. Ginny seemed to like him. She thought he had manly shoulders. Draco found himself taking rather longer than was strictly necessary to look at his shoulders in the mirror that morning. He thought he just might agree with her; his shoulders were rather manly.
Now that Draco knew for sure that Ginny was actually interested in him he had no further qualms about showing his own interest. But the only problem was how to do it in a way befitting a Malfoy. He wanted to impress her, and wasn’t it damn annoying that he wanted to impress a Weasley? But it must be remembered, a very pretty Weasley.
So how was Draco to show Ginny that he was willing to date her? After a long conversation with Blaise, Draco realized that there were several options that were available to him if he wanted to ask Ginny out to the up and coming Hogsmeade trip. One, he could just walk up to her and ask her out. Two, he could fly up to her window on his broom and ask her out. Three, he could compose a sonnet declaring her beauty and general wonderfulness, and he could read it to the entire school.
Unfortunately, there were problems involved in each of these solutions. One was rather boring and not really fit for a Malfoy. Two was difficult as she slept in a dorm, and he would be effectively speaking to an entire dorm of giggling girls. Three was just plain poncy and was just not going to happen, whatever Blaise said about women liking romance. A man had his dignity after all.
In the end, as most things do, it finished much like it had started. The entire Gryffindor team was on the pitch practicing for their upcoming game against Hufflepuff, when who should appear but the Slytherin team and their captain, Draco? Now it had been a couple of years since Draco had purposefully interfered with the Gryffindor practice sessions, and in this instant neither the Slytherins or the Gryffindors had behaved in an underhand manner. Professor Hooch had simply made a mistake when booking pitch times therefore, giving both the Slytherins and the Gryffindors the same time allotment. If this had happened between any other team a discussion would have followed and some sort of agreement would have been reached. But this did not happen between any other team; it happened between the teams with Ron Weasley and Draco Malfoy on them. And Ron simply could not forget or forgive those times when Draco had purposefully thwarted the Gryffindor pitch time. So without asking any questions or finding out the truth about the matter Ron went on the attack.
‘So, slimeball, what do you think you are doing here? This is Gryffindor pitch time. We’re training to beat your pathetic team just like we did last year, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Your little Death Eater daddy and whore of a mum can’t help you out on the pitch. It’s about being a real man out here,’ said Ron.
Now Draco had grown up. He had matured, and the pathetic Weasel just wasn’t worth his time. Draco tried really hard to remind himself of this but then he heard the ‘whore of a mum’ statement in his head again. Draco smirked, and then he punched Ron in the face.
He heard the satisfying sound of Ron’s nose breaking before the two boys were grappling on the ground. Punches were thrown and a few landed before Draco and Ron were pulled apart.
‘Enough,’ roared Harry in both their faces. ‘What the hell was that about? Both Ron and Draco started to explain but Harry interrupted them. ‘No, not from either of you. I want the truth.’
He pointed to one of the Slytherin chasers. ‘You, explain.’
The chaser swallowed slightly. Even with his underdeveloped shoulders, Harry could actually be a bit scary. Draco was rather impressed. ‘Well, we walked over here, and then he came down.’ He pointed at Ron. ‘And then he said something to Draco about how it was Gryffindor pitch time, and we should leave. He called Draco’s mum a whore. Then Draco punched him, and you came over and pulled them apart and then you asked me to say what happened,’ let out the chaser in a puff of breath.
Harry nodded. ‘Thank You. Did you call his mum a whore, Ron?’ asked Harry.
Ron looked pissed off and, to Draco’s infinite happiness, his nose was definitely broken. ‘Oh fine, I did. So what? It’s Malfoy, Harry! He’s the biggest git in the history of gits.’
‘Ron, get over it. I don’t even hate Malfoy anymore. This grudge is childish and silly. You should apologize. Calling his mum a whore is too far, man.’ Harry seemed tired and annoyed at having his practice session interrupted. Draco was even more impressed.
‘No way,’ said Ron. ‘Uh uh, there is no way I’m apologizing to this skinny loser.’
‘He’s not skinny.’ The voice was quiet but piercing and as soon as Ginny said it she wanted to take it back. Both of the teams turned and stared at her. ‘Well he’s not skinny. Look at him.’
If Draco had resembled a cat who’d just eaten cream when Ron had been told to apologize to him now he looked like a cat that had the keys to the creamery and the aviary. In short, he looked pretty damn pleased with himself.
‘Yeah, she’s right. Whatever you want to say about Malfoy’s personality, you got to admit that he does have a mighty fine body,’ said one of the female Gryffindor chasers.
A chorus of agreement came from the surrounding females and even some of the males. If possible, Draco’s smirk got even larger. In comparison Ron looked like he was about to have a fit. ‘What do you mean ‘fine’?’ he blustered. ‘He’s a slimy, evil Malfoy git. Ginny, you think Malfoy’s scum, don’t you?’
Desperation was evident in Ron’s voice, and Draco felt like this was perhaps the most perfect moment in his life. And it was only about to get better. Now was the perfect moment to ask Ginny out. ‘See, Ginny, I heard this little rumour which tells a different story about your opinion of me. Something about my shoulders and their manliness’ said Draco very slowly as he reveled in everyone’s attention.
Ginny was pissed. Yes, she had intended for Draco to ask her out but not like this in front of everyone, including her brother and former crush. She had intended for it to be a romantic and most of all private moment. But Ginny was nothing if not resilient.
‘Yeah Malfoy, I think you have good looking shoulders. What ‘cha gonna do about it?’ she said haughtily.
Then Ginny smirked, and Draco knew exactly what he was going to do about it.
‘Ginny Weasley, would you like to accompany me on the next Hogsmeade trip?’
‘Took you awhile, Malfoy,’ said Ginny as she crossed over to him and kissed him square on the mouth.
As they kissed, dead silence fell. In the case of some, it was due to the romance of the situation. In the case of others, it was because of the unlikelihood of the situation, and in the case of Ron it was because for the first time in his life he was absolutely and completely gobsmacked.
Author notes: A second chapter is coming soon.
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